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Flyers coach Berube wants better defense, play without puck

Oct 7, 2013, 5:59 PM EDT

CraigBerube Getty Images

New bench boss Craig Berube isn’t micning words explaining what the Flyers needs to improve.

“First of all, team defense,” Berube told CSN Philly. “We need to play better without the puck. When you play good hockey without the puck, the team comes together and does the right things to get the puck back and to keep the puck out of your net.

“Right now, we need to stress that.”

Berube, 47, knows of what he speaks. He wasn’t exactly a skill guy during his 18-year career, racking up 3,149 penalty minutes in 1,054 games, the seventh-most PIM in league history.

What Berube was, though, was a hard-nosed grinder type that earned the admiration of another tough guy — Chris Simon — when Simon broke into the league in 1990.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Simon, the Flyers’ initial second-round draft pick and the 25th selection overall in the June 16 [1990] NHL entry draft, says that he admires Craig Berube because the three-year veteran left winger isn’t afraid to mix it up along the boards.

“He’s the chief,” said Simon, who shares an Indian heritage with Berube. ”He’s my type of player. He’s very aggressive, and he knows what to do when he gets the puck.”

Berube went on to notch a career-high eight goals with Philly that season, along with 293 PIM in 74 games.

In describing what he plans to do with the current crop of Flyers, Berube stressed that the focus wouldn’t be entirely defensive. He wants the team to get back to being a hard-nosed group, perhaps even mimicking its coach.

“We want to be an aggressive hockey team on both sides of the puck,” he explained. “And for me right now, I don’t see our team doing a very good job without the puck. Everybody’s going to say, we only scored three goals in three games.

“You want to score more goals? Do your job without the puck.”

  1. President Charles Logan - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    I wish him the best ,I liked the way he played the game in the 1980’s and 90’s .. guys like Rinaldo, Rosehill and Newbury will respond better to him then Laviolette

    • hockey412 - Oct 8, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      And that’s what the Flyers really need, is for guys like Rinaldo, Rosehill, and Newbury to really step up and realize their full potential.

  2. girouxed - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:08 PM

    Cant beleive people are saying the things they are 3 games into this season.

    • girouxed - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      believe *

    • DonkeyStick - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:53 PM

      It’s going on 4 years, not 3 games……2010 Playoff run got into playoffs on LAST shot of season, beat a terrible G and D in Pittsburgh two years a go, didn’t make playoffs last year. I’d say it’s about time for a change.

      • girouxed - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:28 PM

        lol didnt say it wasnt time for a change said I dont like things people are saying this early.

  3. killerpgh - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Maybe he will use a racial slur when trying to motivate Wayne Simmonds like he did when he got suspended for calling Peter Worrell a monkey during a scrum back in his playing days.

    • DonkeyStick - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:55 PM

      CRAP!!!!!!!….I called Clay Matthews an “overgrown gorilla” many a times….does this mean I’m racist?

      • killerpgh - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:01 PM

        Does throwing a Banana at Simmonds make a fan a racist?

      • hockeyflow33 - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        What we never knew was that Simmonds was low on electrolytes and needed that banana

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    Chris Simon was by far the worst player to have ever played in hockey. I can still remember him attempting to step on the back of Jarkko Ruutus leg with his skate vs the Islanders in either 06 or 07.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:09 PM

      Steve MacIntrye, no?

  5. puckmepuckyou - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:34 PM

    I thought he would have made it to at least 10 games. His inability to adapt his style and the teams lack of defensive responsibility made a change necessary. Good luck Chief.

  6. mpg44 - Oct 7, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    So he is saying the flyers need to play a better “trap” style . How ironic.

  7. jimw81 - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    it’s not a trap style, it’s a style to cover up their flaws on defense and offense.

    • mpg44 - Oct 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM

      So it’s only a “trap” when other teams play team defense ? Whatever you need to tell yourself to get by!!

  8. laxman1944 - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    Congrats “Chief”………You’ve earned your shot……..Good luck

  9. steelers88 - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    If they Flyers were going to fire Peter Laviolette so early in the season why not fire him in the offseason?

    • jimw81 - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:37 PM

      holmgren’s loyalty to him because their relationship through usa hockey.

  10. joey4id - Oct 7, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    on D Colburn and Grossman are wya too slow to be playing in the NHL, and Schenn has not played well since the start of the season. Flyers are better at forward than they have shown thus far. Sure! Giroux needs to step up because he’s wearing the C. Others will have to follow. We might see a spike in their which most times happen after a coaching change, but, will it last? Hope they get their stick together because they are fun to watch when they are on their game and they have good rivalry games.

  11. 7mantel - Oct 7, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Berube ? With all the all the good hockey people out there , they chose Berube ! Go find Nolan and give the Flyers a real chance on righting the ship .

  12. crayzeeguy - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    I always liked Flavor Flav from Public Enemy. He got the funky-fresh-fly flavour. Live lyrics from the bank of reality, I kick da flyest dope maneuver technicality, To a dope track – man I love that guy!

  13. anthonyverna - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Wouldn’t we all?

  14. bobhpine - Oct 7, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    1975 doesn’t happen by accident…incompetence on and off the ice, down through the generations, is pervasive.

    Laviolette wasn’t fired in April so Holmgren could stubbornly stick by his guy. Then the Flyers brought in Hextall in the offseason which in turn makes Holmgren fear for his job, so he fires Laviolette, three games into the season. Selfish and scared…great way to run a third rate organization.

    It’s always the goalie or the coach in Philly.

    I love it. As long as they ignore the fact that their approach to winning as an organization is the problem, they’ll keep 1975 alive and well.

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Oct 8, 2013 at 12:21 AM

      Yup, I suggest they go bankrupt a few times. Purposely tank multiple seasons to get high draft picks, blackmail the NHL and threaten to relocate to Kansas City. Now that is a no nonsense approach to winning.

      • laxman1944 - Oct 8, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        That’s how they do it up in “The Burgh”….

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